History

“Remember the Ladies”

Painting of a young Abigail Adams on a book cover“IN THE SPIRIT
OF
CELEBRATING
OVERLOOKED CAREERS…”

A museum on the southern coast of Maine, in the small enclave called Ogunquit, is hosting a small exhibition of work by women artists dating from the first half of the twentieth century. Its title — “Remember the Ladies” — is a phrase borrowed from future First Lady Abigail Adams. She wrote it in a letter to her husband John, eventual POTUS, as he headed off to represent Massachusetts in the Second Continental Congress in 1776. “The exhibit places the artists in a continuum of American history that begins with the Revolutionary War era and continues to today.”

“Art made by women represents a tiny fraction of what contemporary museums show and collect. This has always been an unwavering prejudice, though in the late nineteenth century and for several decades thereafter change was in the air. Women achieved new levels of education and professional employment, and enthusiastically turned their attention to art. This show highlights a small group of artists who spent summers in Ogunquit, studying with Charles Woodbury, founder of the town’s first art colony. Because they made art their life’s work, these women were exceptional for their time.”

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